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Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone ever used a sonic cleaner during tear down and lubrication of a Athearn Blue Box loco?

I have some older trains I have purchased, and then had them sit for a couple years while I purchase supplies. I finally got a layout and started testing some trains to find varying degrees of run-abilty. I pulled one apart to find gears in the truck were gummy.

As such, I want to go thru each of my trains, tear them down, clean everything, re lubricate and assemble.

The other question i have is, what about the motor? Can it be cleaned the same via sonic cleaner then re oiled using machine oil?

What are people using to clean the motor brush contact points?

John
 

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yes, i used a ultrasonic cleaner to clean Athearn blue box locos ...
I initially used hot water [it had a heater in the cleaner] to clean all except motor, then I switched to mineral spirits, and cleaned all the chassis including the motor in place, and relubricated afterwards, i used a chunk of pen eraser to clean the commutator ..
 

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Discussion Starter #3
yes, i used a ultrasonic cleaner to clean Athearn blue box locos ...
I initially used hot water [it had a heater in the cleaner] to clean all except motor, then I switched to mineral spirits, and cleaned all the chassis including the motor in place, and relubricated afterwards, i used a chunk of pen eraser to clean the commutator ..
When performing the cleaning with water, are you using any other soap or detergent. or just water?

John
 

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Discussion Starter #8
A couple questions came up asked night, is there a way to determine which screw gear is meant for the front or rear?

Is there a preferred solution for cleaning the grease off the trucks and gears?

I plan on using an automotive lithium for the lubrication of the gears and machining oil to lubricate the brass inserts which hold the shaft of the screw gear drive.

Am I on the right track?
 

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as far as auto grease, i don't know ...
i use pretty much labelles or firearm oil , my trains aren't all that cheap, so i don't skimp on the oil cost , just my opinion
 

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Discussion Starter #10
as far as auto grease, i don't know ...
i use pretty much labelles or firearm oil , my trains aren't all that cheap, so i don't skimp on the oil cost , just my opinion
I would not consider mine cheap either, and many of them are classics coming from the 1980s such as my childhood Southern Pacific F7 unit from 1983.

Thanks for the suggestion.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Looking at the gears in the trucks closer, its pretty gummy in there. Any reason I should not use mineral spirt to clean all the parts of my trucks as well as the motor? Will that ruin the plastic center parts or the gears? This train is old enough (mid 1980's) to have metal outer parts (I am not sure what they are called) with brass bushings for the wheels to ride in.

John
 

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I'm not sure about the motor itself. I've never tried it. I use contact cleaner if they get too gunked up.

For the rest of it, mineral spirits or denatured alcohol work fine.
 
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